Volume 17, Issue 3 December 2021, pp. 298–324 Download PDF

Regular Articles

Team New Zealand-Sweden-Germany: A joint venture exploring language learning in digital spaces

Vera Leier https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8481-81621, & Alice Gruber https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1558-673X2

1 University of Canterbury, NEW ZEALAND vera.leier@canterbury.ac.nz
2 Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences, GERMANY alice.gruber@hs-heilbronn.de

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v17n3.410


This paper reports on a study investigating the use of digital devices by language students at  universities in New Zealand, Sweden and Germany. The study also investigates the use of social media for learning a foreign language in an institutional context, using survey results from language students in the three countries. Based on an online survey (n=156) with foreign language learners in Sweden, Germany and New Zealand, students’ everyday use of devices and applications are compared and analyzed applying the digital literacies framework described by Pegrum et al. (2018). Focusing on digital tools (including devices and applications) which facilitate informal communication, we attempt to answer the research questions: ‘How do students interact and communicate digitally / using social networking in educational contexts and beyond ?’ And ‘How do students use online tools, devices and applications, for information retrieval and for learning?’ The results provide a rationale for why students’ everyday habits when using such tools should be considered in educational contexts. This exploratory study also describes how devices and applications which facilitate second language acquisition (also due to their multimodal nature) can be used in a language education context. We recommend guidelines for teacher trainers regarding the development of digital literacies in foreign language teaching.


© Vera Leier, Alice Gruber

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Leier, V., & Gruber, A. (2021). Team New Zealand-Sweden-Germany: A joint venture exploring language learning in digital spaces. The JALT CALL Journal, 17(3), 298–324. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v17n3.410

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